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Sat Apr 2, 2016, 12:54 PM

Can Capitalism Thrive Without Free Goodies From Government?

This thread is not about crony capitalism... but some aspects of US capitalism we don't often think about... and certainly nothing the Orwellian Right would want to mention.

What would be the free market value of all those intellectual monopolies, tax breaks, and immunities we give corporations? Could capitalism thrive without those intellectual monopolies, tax breaks, and immunities? Could anyone really amass giant fortunes without these freebies?

Government grants intellectual property monopolies to provide incentives to push the envelope... but if patents, copyrights, and trademarks didn't exist... what would US capitalism be like?

If corporations were forced to buy limited liability insurance on the open market to cover bankruptcy costs for 100c on the dollar... and protect shareholder profits and assets from clawbacks by creditors, and what would US capitalism be like?

How easy would it be for corporations to amass capital if taxes on profits were not given special preferential capital gains rates and shareholders never received limited liability protections for their investments?

Would any private insurer ever want to insure a mega corporation for all of the above? Nuclear power might never get off the ground if the government hadn't passed the Price Anderson Act.

What would the American economy look like without the free goodies We The People give to corporations and those who invest in them?

And if we can't imagine these corporations growing to the behemoths they are without those freebies... then what do those corporations and those who get rich from them... owe We The People back?

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Reply Can Capitalism Thrive Without Free Goodies From Government? (Original post)
eniwetok Apr 2016 OP
hollowdweller Apr 2016 #1
eniwetok Apr 2016 #2
eniwetok Apr 2016 #3

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 01:04 PM

1. Hard to say


I can remember when most of the people who collected various welfare benefits were not working.

Now on a LOT of the programs we have requirements that you HAVE to work to get the benefits.

We have the earned income tax credit to subsidize low wages companies pay.

We created 401k's to help subsidize retirement benefits that used to come from the company.

We have the Medicaid expansion to provide health care to low wage workers to absolve companies from their duty of providing health care.

So say all that was cut off.

I think we'd have more of a situation we had back in the 20's and 30's where the communist party and socialisim was more popular than it is today. We sort of had the big wave of unionization then that provided people a living wage w/ benefits.

So I'm not sure capitalisim would fall if those were gone due to not being able to make a profit, but removal of subsidies to the working class would result, as it is mildly today for more socialisim and unions.

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Response to hollowdweller (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 02:05 PM

2. wasn't thinking of...

I wasn't thinking of how safety net programs benefit corporations. Corporations have been getting backdoor benefits long before unions were given federal protections in the 30's or there were safety net programs. Of course the Right is blind to these benefits and prefers to promulgate the self-serving myth that the rich are all independent and self-made.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 04:31 PM

3. it comes as no surprise that the topic of this thread is going nowhere...

I've long maintained that liberal Dems in the US are somewhat conservative in two main areas... they tend to avoid questioning the antidemocratic and reformproof nature of our federal system... and they tend to avoid questioning the corporate form. Of course both are discussed superficially... bandaids and other tweaks are often proposed to address problems.

I see the runaway corporate form and grotesque wealth/income inequality largely dependent on the antidemocratic nature of our system... a connection not even a Bernie Sanders mentions... at least to the best of my knowledge. Given both government and the corporate form shape so much of our lives one might think looking to reform or improve either would be a topic of constant discussion here... after all we know the right would never want to reform either. Who would have thought liberal Dems and the right have so much in common.

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